I was initially not very sure how I was to put this post together. But, all of these concepts and ideas came together at once, I got a bit technical with the help of my sister Aud, and here I am…. so let’s see where it takes us, shall we?
I believe that many of us have things, values, ideas, and foundations that are the core of our being, and that are most important to us. It is that foundation that guides us with our lives, with who we meet, and how we interact with the world. I have instructed the students in the class which I teach at my local University, that I want them to each make a presentation to the class, about what they believe makes up their cultural identity, and to express that in any fashion to the class. They asked me for a demonstration, which is part of what this is.
I believe that our cultural identity is everything; everything that we bring to the here and now, to the person that we are right now, today. Our experiences, beliefs, persons, ideas, values, mantras that through which, we view the world, and experience. It makes up our perception. My identity is represented by many signs, and symbols. They are representative of some of the core of who I am.
Signs that represent beliefs or ideas, like a peace symbol, tattoo, statues or stickers on our cars, serve two purposes. They let the world know what is important to us, and they also connect us with others. Some others are not like us, and our symbols may strike fear or intimidation in them. However, our signs and symbols also connect us strongly with those that think, feel and believe in much of the same way.
To me, that is part of the spirit of Ubuntu. I am myself, but I am because you are, in part because of the common cause or belief that we share.
The above photos are just part of my beliefs system. My Native American heritage, specifically, Poarch band Creek Indians from Atmore, Alabama, is at the root of all that I feel in my soul. Although I did not grow up actively engaged in tribal activity, I feel within me the deep commitment and reverence that I have for that part of my identity. The wolf is my self-ascribed totem animal, one that I most closely identify with, and I believe protects and guides me. It pervades my soul, the belief in taking care of others, taking care of the earth, respect for our elders, and remembering the lessons that have been taught to us.
I also believe that describes Ubuntu for me.
In addition, I firmly believe in the importance of family, whether we are talking family of origin, by biology, family of choice, which could be our partners, spouses and children. Then, there is the family, the human family, that we share our hopes, dreams and help with. I am because you are, that feeling of connectedness.
I also encompass so much else within my being, the need for a peaceful center; the need to feel strong as a woman; connection to the earth and sky; and pride in the lesbian part of my identity. This really is me to my core…..
How do the seasons fit in? A couple of ways; it was officially deemed Autumn here in my part of the world yesterday, September 22, at 11:44 AM. Autumn, as many of you know, is my favorite time of year. It is reflective, it is preparatory for the cold season to come, it is represented to me by life ending, and resting until it is time for new life to begin. It is about gathering up warmth and bringing it close to you. It is about giving I believe more than any other time of the year, of your time, your talent, your gifts and your service. It just feels like the most peaceful time of the year for me.
Although a symbol, a sign, or a season, cannot describe or represent all of who I am, it is a way to peek in, and get a glimpse at what I am all about…….
Ubuntu really is the only way for me.